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Purpose-built resort or local community?

Posted on 18 November 2016

You intend to buy in the Spanish sun, but you want something that ticks every box. There’s quite a choice: everything from coastal resorts with Irish bars and modern high-rises, to traditional villages with olive groves and rural cortijos. Spain has something for everyone, but deciding can be hard!

One of the first decisions is whether to buy on a purpose-built resort with everything on site, or to head into the local community. Spain’s holiday resorts attract sun-seeking British tourists numbered in the millions each year, and having enjoyed our precious holiday in one of these self-contained beach retreats, many of us decide to buy our own home there. And why not? Who wouldn’t want to arrive at their home and find the pool clean, the lawn mowed and your old mates from the last holiday waiting to see you in the bar? You won’t have any problem renting out your property either, whether it’s January or June.

Convenience adds to the lure of the purpose-built resort. Spain is serviced by year-round, low-cost flights from across the UK, and your resort will normally be a short and well-trodden route from the airport. There are resorts with golf courses, tennis courts and swimming pools, maybe even an on-site spa. Facilities such as supermarkets, restaurants and a clubhouse are often within the complex, with a range of apartments, townhouses and villas to choose from.

You will be able to immerse yourself within a stable local community without noisy tourists, brushing up on your Spanish skills while drinking a cervesa and eating tapas in your local bar.

Then again, you can head into the community – a city apartment, a village property, maybe a traditional cortijo with an olive tree in the garden. There are advantages and disadvantages to going it alone – you’ll have to look after your own maintenance but will normally save on service charges.  You might be cleaning your own pool, but at least you won’t have to share it (and you can always find someone to help you out). You will be able to immerse yourself within a stable local community without noisy tourists, brushing up on your Spanish skills while drinking a cervesa and eating tapas in your local bar.

Spain’s five thousand kilometres of coastline have some of Europe’s best purpose-built resorts – the likes of La Manga or Sotogrande – but you can get a lot more for your money in the hills, villages and quieter seaside towns. Yet the advantages of the resorts are never too far away, with beaches and golf courses within a short drive or bus ride. You can have the best of the Costa Blanca in a former fishing village such as Calpe, with a quaint old town, daily fish market and stunning beaches, but with the many pleasures of Benidorm just 20 minutes away. If that’s still not Spanish enough, extend your search inland into the Jalon Valley, where the hills are dotted with charming villages nestled in the dappled shade of citrus trees, overlooking fields of almond.

The world would be a boring place if we were all the same. Thankfully, Spain’s superb tourism infrastructure and proud cultural heritage means there is something for any prospective British property buyer. To help you make your choice, download a Buying in Spain guide from Property Guides.

 

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